Positive Developments in the European Union
October 17, 2016     

We'd like to share some good news with you today regarding the success of our ongoing campaign in the European Union (EU) to raise awareness regarding the inherent brutality of horse slaughter in Canada, as well as the potential dangers of eating horse meat from Canadian slaughter plants. 

Number of US Horses Shipped to 
Canada Diminishing

Due to the ongoing efforts of our EU campaign, the amount of horse meat being shipped to Europe from slaughter plants in Canada has diminished, which in turn has led to fewer U.S. horses being shipped to Canada for slaughter.

According to Canadian Import/Export Data, imports from the US are down year-to-date over August by -27.3%, with the overall number of horses slaughtered in Canada for January to August 2016 compared to January to August 2015 is down by -18.9%. 

Export of horse meat from Canada to the EU and Switzerland also has dropped substantially, the total value of horse meat exported in 2015 (January to August) to France, Belgium and Switzerland was over 54 Million Canadian Dollars, while in 2016 it was only 27.8 Million Canadian Dollars for the same time period.

color coded neck bands at Bouvry feedlot

Successful Culmination o
4 Years of Work

Since the launch of our EU campaign in 2012 together with our EU partners, Animals' Angels has worked to expose the appalling conditions of the Canadian "slaughter pipeline" to the primary consumers in Europe. 

After our initial reports were first broadcast in Europe, numerous retailers and markets immediately pulled horse meat products from their shelves. Since that time, several major retailers and importers across Europe have announced that they will no longer be importing horse meat from overseas and have specifically terminated their contracts with Canadian slaughter plants, namely Bouvry and Viande Richelieu.

We knew that such momentous decision-making by these businesses would have a significant impact on the slaughter industry in Canada and it appears we are now witnessing yet another positive consequence: fewer American horses are needed to feed the fading demand of the primary consumer, not to mention the slaughter plants have taken a significant financial hit. While there is still more work to be done, we're thrilled to see this positive outcome from our diligent work in the field. 

shipment of horses at Canadian border

Reports of EU Vendors, Retailers, and Importers Cutting Ties with 
Canadian Horse Slaughter Plants

colored neck bands have been observed in use at Bouvry's feedlot

Exposing Fraudulent Health Paperwork of  US Horses Shipped to Canada

Animals Angels' has also continually supplied the EU Commission with evidence showing the fraudulent shipment and health paperwork on horses going from the U.S. to Canada. We have provided in-depth reports and presentations showing that horses with questionable drug histories are still shipped to Canada and slaughtered immediately upon arrival.

Indeed, even the EU Commission's own audit confirmed the findings of our many investigations.  As a result, the EU Commission stated in correspondence with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in September that they will be instituting a 6-month residency program for horses being shipped to Canada, in an attempt to ensure that these harmful-to-humans drugs will be out of the horse's system prior to slaughter.

truck at CFIA inspection station

Despite the EU Commission's best intentions, this new residency program will likely not accomplish the end result desired. As we all know, horses in the U.S. are not raised for human consumption and as such, are routinely given pharmaceuticals that are a direct risk to human health if consumed. Not all of these drugs have known withdrawal periods, so even with a 6-month residency program, there are no assurances the meat from these horses will be safe to eat. Not to mention, falsified shipping and health documents are still a major issue since there is no improvement of the current insufficient oversight - it's reasonable to assume that these individuals will simply continue with their fraudulent activities in an attempt to bypass the stricter rules.

6-Month Residency Program Preparations Already Ongoing

Animals' Angels has just discovered through recent field investigations that some Canadian slaughter plants are apparently already implementing a new program to comply with the upcoming rule regarding residency. 

red colored neck band at Bouvry feedlot

Our investigators have noted that the horses at Bouvry's largest US feedlot in Shelby, MT, are wearing different colored neck bands - likely indicating a color-coding system to identify the length of time a horse has been at this plant-controlled feedlot.  So, it would seem that the major players are well-prepared for the proposed regulations that might be put into place by the EU Commission come March 2017.

different colored neckbands at Bouvry feedlot

Moving Forward

We will keep investigators in the field gathering evidence to continue to raise awareness among European consumers regarding the ongoing atrocities occurring in the Canadian horse slaughter pipeline.  

In our unwavering goal to protect our horses, Animals' Angels will also continue to push the EU Commission for a complete ban on the import of horse meat from Canada. 

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sonja inspecting trailer

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Our investigators are out in the field nationwide, visiting auctions, kill pens, feedlots and slaughter plants to uncover the cruelty and abuse that animals all too often face each and every day.
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